Iâ€™ve been trying to be more like my mother this past week.
Mom passed away eight years ago and her funeral was the Saturday before Motherâ€™s Day. Trying to be a little more like mom has been my way of remembering.
Mom was just 59 when her lifelong battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis took its final toll. This debilitating and painful disease robbed mom of her strength and mobility but it failed to conquer her passion for life. When I asked Mom how she was doing, she often answered, â€œIt could always be worse.â€
After several years I finally figured out that was always her answer when the pain was really bad.
Her name was Carolyn Shirley (after her mother) Christiansen Patterson. But many of our childhood friends, who she softly pulled into her life, mostly called her Mom. Her home â€“ and fridge â€“ was always open to a friend who needed a place to stay. More importantly, her warms hugs and listening ear were always open.
Mom changed the world. She did that with her warm hugs and listening ear. She helped struggling kids open their hearts because she listened with her open heart.
She had a gift, I believe, which allowed her to simply love everyone. Her heart was completely nonjudgmental. It didnâ€™t matter who you were, what you looked like, or what you may have doneâ€¦ Mom loved you. A stranger was a stranger no more; a soft hug made sure of that.
Shared tears released tension. Warm hugs made hearts feel lighter.
Hospitals were frequent places of stay for Mom, including her final six months. It was amazing to witness, experience really, the transformational effect she had on nurses, doctors, therapists, caseworkers and just about anyone who came into her hospital room. She hugged everyone. She asked how they were doing. She learned about their families. She learned about their life.
Perhaps we can learn from Mom. When life gets really tough, when the pain may seem too much to bear, when weâ€™re not sure if we have the strength to keep goingâ€¦ we can remember â€œIt could always be worse.â€
Have a great Monday!
p.s. Take 15 minutes today to visit MomsHands.org for beautiful inspiration. Then share a warm hug!